I always love the mix of high-end with street, fancy with casual, tough with feminine. While this skirt could easily be paired with something delicate and fancy for a formal occasion, wearing it with a heather gray tee shirt is more my style. Speaking of this tee, this is not the same one I am wearing here – today’s is more of a true gray while the other is blue. Such a fan, I went back and bought this old Navy tee in white, a dark pink, and classic heather gray!
Search Results for: label/Soft Surroundings
Around this time of year, I am bombarded with reader questions on where to find swimwear to flatter their body. While one can find a triangle bikini anywhere from Walmart to Saks, it’s harder to find swimwear for a woman with curves. As a woman with a large bust and a soft tummy, I have a few recommendations for bathing suits that control the midsection and/or support and properly cover a large chest.
Aerin Rose was kind enough to send me their “Butterfly 335” suit for review and I have to say I am highly impressed. Not only are these swimsuits sized like bras (cup-sizes B through G and band sizes 32 through 44), but they also have shirred tummy control bodices to whittle the waistline. My tummy looked firm while I felt comfortable, and my breasts were well covered and supported in the flattering halter top. Learn more about Aerin Rose on their Facebook page and shop for their bra-sized swimwear here.
I wrote about Swimspot here, and I still agree that Swimspot offers attractive swimwear for large busts. They have fit specialists who will work with you to find the perfect suit for your specific figure. When I worked with them last year, they suggested the Athena Maldives Halter One-Piece for me; I still find it flattering, supportive, and sexy while properly covering and containing my bust and smoothing my middle. All Athena swimsuits have a Slim-Power lining to smooth the tummy, and their Support Group line offers sizes 32D – 38FFG. They also carry Next Swimwear which is a brand for the woman who has a larger bust and desires support during water activities – their Stand Up top has floating underwires and a racer back to keep your bust in place while surfing, swimming, or taking part in any other water activity.
No Show Active Top
For the woman who wants to catch rays in a classic bikini but desires support and coverage when swimming, surfing, or playing a game of beach volleyball, the No Show Active Top is a great option. Simply zip The No Show Active Top over your bikini top for the coverage and control you need for any activity. They come in a variety of colors and prints to coordinate with most any swimsuit.
You didn’t expect me to write a post about swimwear and not mention Lands’ End, did you? Lands’ End offer suits up to a DDD cup and I have found them to truly be supportive. Their fabulous Beach Living swimsuit collection has many tops and suits made for large busts including bikini tops.
Lands’ End also has Slender Suits which slim the middle without binding. Their Princess One-Piece Slender Suit is elegant, classic, has soft cups to support the bust, and Slendertex® fabric to control the midsection.
To use SPANX‘s word, Bra-llelujah, they now carry swimwear! This is a perfect fit for SPANX, who has already mastered not only control garments, but supportive yet comfortable bras. Their Bra-llelujah! ® One-Piece is a classic style with underwire cups and adjustable straps – not only does is come in bra sizes (up to 18 D/DD) to properly support the bust, it also sucks in the tummy with the power of SPANX. Their Blue Nile suit is feminine, flirty, and comes in sizes up to a 16D/DD with all the control you’d expect from the brand.
Bare Necessities is one of the sites I go to for control garments and bras to fit my large bust, it’s also a site I turn to when looking for swimwear. Many of the lingerie brands that cater to curves also carry swimwear (Freya, Fantasie, Elomi) and Bare Necessities carries them.
Cacique is a great resource for larger sizes of bras, and they are also a great resource for larger sizes of swimwear, offering styles up to an H cup. Cacique carries one-piece styles, separates, and also Miraclesuit® for control swimwear.
- Skirts emphasize, they don’t hide. Skirts on swimsuits work in the same manner as a tunic or muumuu – they may cover, but they don’t fool anyone. A skirt is a great choice for modesty or a retro feel, but you’d do better with strategic shirring or a flattering leg opening to make your body look not only smaller but also younger.
- Buy a size smaller than what you wear in clothes. Unless otherwise specified (Miraclesuit® often has specific fit tips, always read customer reviews), bathing suits stretch. What seems to be a great fit when dry can end up with a saggy rear and exposed busom come a dip in the pool.
- Buy a cup size larger than necessary. Unless it is underwire and bra-styled, going up a cup size will give you additional coverage. When I was a D cup, I would always buy the DD cup style from J. Crew – it still fit great, but gave me a bit more security under the arms and between the breasts.
- Don’t machine wash your swimwear. Not only are you dealing with a delicate synthetic fabric full of Lycra and compression materials, it is a fabric being beaten with salt, chlorine, sand, and concrete. Baby your swimsuit and it will keep its shape, elasticity, color, and fit for more than a season. Products like Roux Maison Swimwear Detergent will extend the life of your suit and remove everything from chlorine to sunscreen without fading or residue.
Where do you like to shop for swimwear? What swimsuit brands have you found that flatter, support, and control curves?
Note: I did receive free product from No Show Active Top and Aerin Rose, but the choice to write this post is my own and all options are also my own.
This week is going to be a scorcher in DC, and I am looking to stay as cool as possible while looking appropriate at the office. This dress from Soft Surroundings is 100% linen so it is breezy and comfortable. I took this dress on my vacation and wore it to the zoo in Columbia, SC on a very hot day and felt breezy and cool. I usually shy from linen because it does end up looking so crinkled and wrinkled, but with this weather I don’t care and embracing my rumpled side!
Some days, the hippie chick inside me just begs to come out. I usually let her shine on weekends, but felt that pairing this skirt with a chambray shirt instead of a simple tank made it fit into the office (especially where I work). On weekends, you’d likely see me in this skirt with a simple black ribbed tank and my hair in a messy updo.
Emerson still loves frozen waffles – we fed them to her when she was teething and she has never stopped loving them. While I personally find them disgusting, it does make for quick and easy meals and snacks… and silly poses for photos!
My company moved offices a couple weeks ago and one of the many perks of our new location is a modern bathroom… with a full-length mirror! I had to be at work at 7am this morning so no fancy photos from my husband. Figured I might as well take advantage of an empty bathroom with good lighting!
If you can’t tell, I woke up and thought it was Friday. I knew I had a lunch to celebrate a coworker’s pregnancy, and somehow that got me in a Friday denim frame of mind. Good thing I didn’t have any client meetings on the books today!
Any exciting plans for the weekend? Tomorrow my husband is shooting a wedding and I’m going as assistant. No other plans are concrete and I couldn’t be happier. I need to return a jacket to Old Navy and I know a few friends are having parties and cookouts, but really all is left up in the air and I would be perfectly content spending a lot just relaxing at home with the family.
I just got this top Friday and can see myself wearing it in so many ways. It’s matte jersey with a double-layer front and was on sale at Ann Taylor. Matte jersey is great for travel as it doesn’t wrinkle and dries quickly; this would look great under a suit, with a flippy skirt, a maxi skirt, and work trousers. Today I felt like I needed more than a pop of color so I decided to pair with neon cropped jeans. Black shoes seemed too harsh, nude shoes looked goofy, so I went with my favorite neutral – leopard. Go hard or go home, right?
I guess it pays to shop a lot at the same retailer! This outfit came together by chance – my husband did laundry and hung this tee up instead of folding in the drawer. When on the rail next to this skirt, I realized they were the same coral, just different intensities. When in my drawer, I always saw it more as a red shirt and wore it as such. Since they are both Ann Taylor, it makes sense that they are the same tone!
I have become a bit of a form of entertainment in the court each morning with these photos – Emerson and her friend wanted to join in the fun and who could say no to such cuties?
Jacket – Caslon (similar)
Tee – LOFT (similar)
Pants – Ann Taylor (similar)
Pumps - MICHAEL Michael Kors “Flex”
Bracelet - c/o t+j Designs, Nordstrom (this and this), c/o Soft Surroundings
Bag – Brahmin (similar)
I planned to stick to a simple color palette of black, white, and red but then remembered I had a few things to take into work so I needed a larger purse. I thought the Brahmin would be fun, another color added to the mix. Not until Karl took my pictures and said, “It’s not yet July 4th” did I realize that adding this bag made me look quite patriotic. Well, nothing wrong with that!
Saturday morning I went to the Westfield Montgomery Mall to learn more about their Style Lounge. My sister hung out with Emerson so my husband could go with me, capture a few pictures, and then we could get lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (one of our fave places). Since he had his camera on him, he snapped these pictures of what I was wearing. Very simple, a lot of my wardrobe staples all pulled into one ensemble!
Top: Ann Taylor
Shorts: Target, self-distressed using this video (similar)
Necklace: eBay (similar)
Bracelets: Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Lauren Ralph Lauren, c/o Soft Surroundings
Yesterday we had friends over for “church.” We had brunch which extended into dinner which went into a post-dinner walk which ended up being a beer at our neighborhood cafe. I picked up this sweater at Ann Taylor last week during the Friends and Family event – I had admired it online in orange, but when I tried it on in the store it just looked a mess. I decided to try it in this color, and by accident picked up a Medium. Going down a size was exactly what this top needed! I can see myself wearing it with white jeans, and come fall with a pair of vintage denim, or with ivory trousers and pearls.
And for those who keep asking me to show my “natural” hair, here it is in all its glory. I showered the night prior, added some Frizz-Ease Sheer while wet and went to sleep. In the morning I gently brushed out the tangled ends and left as-is. The more humid the day, the better it behaves au naturel.
Yesterday was a long one. Work, then I walked to Georgetown to meet my sister, then we went to The Birchmere to see The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. I didn’t get home until midnight so this morning I was super happy it was Friday and I could just throw on jeans.
I went to my mom’s house a couple weeks ago and she had a pile of clothes to donate. I rifled through them and found these jeans. I hardly recognized these as Long and Leans because my mom hemmed them. They are a tad short with the hem, but that was perfect since I wanted to wear flats today. I’ll probably let the hem out this weekend so they will also work with heels. Gotta love free fashion!
What are your weekend plans? Tomorrow my husband has a photo shoot and if our schedule permits we’ll try to attend a neighbor’s cookout. Sunday evening we’re going to see Further at Merriweather – I haven’t seen them before and am excited, it’s going to be a fun!
Jacket - Caslon (similar)
Tank – Caslon
Jeans – CAbi Cropped Bree Jean, c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi Consultant
Shoes – Franco Sarto (similar)
Bracelets – Nordstrom, c/o Soft Surroundings
Hoops – Claire’s Boutique (similar)
Bag – Sabina (similar)
I was looking for a way to tame neon yellow jeans for the office, and by doing so I realize I ended up wearing a ton of hot trends! I’ve got the pop of neon, a touch of animal print, the gold “arm party,” a safari inspiration, and Revlon Lip Butter (Fig Jam). Even though I may be head-to-toe trends, I think it all balances out to an outfit that is fun yet Casual Friday-appropriate for a relaxed office. And speaking of office, I am SO GLAD to be back in it today. Working from home without my laptop and equipment was terribly stressful and I am happy to be surrounded by all my monitors and wires and gadgets!
Any weekend plans? I am going to hit up the HOBO Sample Sale on Sunday, but otherwise the weekend is pretty open. Looking forward to seeing what the weekend brings!
This is a very busy week at work so outfits are a last-minute hasty decision while I am replying to an email on my iPhone while trying to blow dry my hair and keep Emerson from emptying the contents of my jewelry armoire onto our bedroom floor. While I am not a fan of wearing white before Memorial Day, this new dress from Lands’ End made for uber-simple dressing this morning and gave me an opportunity to wear very comfortable flat shoes to give the feet a break from the heels I wore yesterday. This is more of a weekend look for me – something you could easily see me wearing to the farmers market or running errands. Stay tuned folks, have some ideas cooking for fun outfits for the next couple of days!
In the morning, I ran to get my hair cut and colored in the nearby town, and then run a few errands. Olive ribbed tank from J. Crew, white ribbed tank from Old Navy, Joe’s Jeans in “Provacateur,” brown stacked flops from J. Crew, silver hoops from The Icing, silver cuff.
Hair was brushed out but on the second day; blew the bangs straight.
Makeup was Body Shop bronzing powder in Light as face color, Max Factor Lash Perfection mascara on curled lashes, Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Pink Afterglow.
Kathleen did her magic – all I told her is that I wanted to go darker and that I wanted heavier bangs. I trust her, and was not disappointed. Choppy layers that can work straight, wavy or curly, fun sideswept bangs, and a very rich multi-tonal color of dark brown that looks closer to what I was born with.
Got home and had to dash to get dressed. Friday night I had a friend over so I didn’t have time to play dress-up and figure out my theater outfit. Thank you soooo much to everyone who wrote in suggestions, you guys are awesome and have good ideas! For the one who suggested my Old Navy dress… I completely forgot about it. I had set to wear my black cashmere tank from Banana Republic and my orange-red shantung full skirt also from Banana (seen here), but when I saw how spiffy and sleek my husband looked (flat front gray tropical wool trousers from J. Crew, white tailored shirt from some brand sold at Mens Wearhouse, black blazer from… J. crew? Not sure…, black slip-on sleek shoes from Ecco) I decided my outfit may look a bit like a costume. I tried a few different skirts, but settled on the black matte jersey dress from Old Navy, my red stone necklace, my leopard peep-toe heels from BCBgirls,silver hoops from The Icing, and silver cuff natch.
Didn’t have to do my hair since it was done by Kathleen my talented stylist. She used the Pureology line on me, and swears by it for protecting color. I bought the shampoo and conditioner and once I can wash my hair (was told to go as long as humanely possible without washing) I will be using it and let you k now how it is.
Same makeup as earlier, just a re-touch of the bronzing powder, a bit of Smashbox Soft Lights in Tint on my cheekbones, a medium line of Maybelline Ultra Liner in black on the top lash line, a quick swipe of Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara in black over existing mascara, Body Shop Lip and Cheek Tint with Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Pink Afterglow over it.
We took the Metro and it was not even a block to the little restaurant (I don’t know if there are even 20 tables in the place). The menu seemed different from the one online and the only entrees that were vegetarian were spaghetti with tomato sauce (yawn) and a risotto with corn and truffle shavings. My husband and I chose the risotto, we shared a bottle of Pinot Grigio (not sure the label, our friend chose the wine) and had a nice, yet not inspiring or overwhelmingly unique meal. We then walked not even three blacks to the Kennedy Center where my friend and I sidestepped grates in our heels (she too wore a black sheath and heels) while the men tromped over everything and got there in time to marvel at the acre-sized curtains in the lobby and get a cocktail in the Terrace Bar prior to the performance.
The performance was great! As I said, I had never seen The Phantom of the Opera other than the movie. Back story – 1992, for Christmas I got my first boom box with a CD player in it, and with it two CDs – Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. For several months until I got my high school arsenal of REM, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam and Nirvana, I listened solely to these two soundtracks. Come 2007, I am silently singing along to this performance and even a tear came down my cheek at finally seeing live what I had in my head 15 years ago. I think also seeing Shakespeare in Love the night prior made the theater experience that more intense.
Our friends live in Virginia and parked at the theater; it was a gorgeous night and declined their offer to drive us to the Metro and decided to hoof it. All in all a lovely evening!
Another day that started with rain. Too hot for tall boots and skinny jeans, so I decided to whip out my festie boots. I bought these from DUO Boots in 2007 and I still adore them, though now they have become more of bum around boots. They have gone to a few Bonnaroos, parties in the parking lot at several concerts at Merriweather, went with me to Forecastle fest and are often the boots I slip on when going out in the yard to hang laundry or play with Emerson. Not really typical work footwear, but it’s Friday and they’re pretty well hidden under this skirt and will keep my feet dry as I stomp through puddles!
Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the crazy holiday season and crazy beginning of 2013 but I am craving a vacation right about now and yesterday I got a fabulous care package from Lifetherapy with some products from their “Vacation” line. This morning’s shower was with the Vacation body wash and then I used the Vacation lotion and added the matching Pulse Point Oil Roll-on Perfume to my wrists and behind my ears. It’s a warm but feminine blend that smells a bit like vanilla, a bit like sandalwood, a bit like coconut, and makes me want to sip a fruity drink while under the shade of a palm tree on a beach. It’s one of those fragrances that works when you get hot and sweaty – some fragrances smell too strong or too wrong in the heat of summer, but this one just seems to get more… mature and right. I liked it when I put it on but it felt a bit too girly for me (I usually wear Burberry London perfume and Neutrogena Body Oil for moisturizer), but by time I got to the office I was quite the fan, and I love the travel-friendly perfume oil bottle!
Can I just say I wish Ray-Ban made more of the fun versions of their aviators in the 62mm size for us big-headed folks? I want the fun green lenses, but they’re only in the normal-headed size. However, I did find the all-black ones on eBay for a sweet price and just got my email yesterday that they have shipped out. Can’t wait for them to arrive! This is my biggest tip for designer sunglasses – if you know the model number, the size and details check eBay to see if you can find them for less. There may be some sketchy folks on there, but there’s also a lot of companies that sell overstock or old styles on there for really good prices and some people who are just selling things they no longer want that are in almost-new condition.
This morning was pretty rough and I didn’t have much time to pull an outfit together. While brushing my teeth I put this outfit together in my head. The skirt is comfortable and cheery, the top is clean, the shoes let me run if I am late. Glad it worked out.
We inherited my father-in-law’s dogs when he passed away in October 2008. While the dogs are good souls, it wasn’t something we expected or necessarily wanted. However, the dogs have become a part of our family. Cindy has gone from being aggressive and always trying to escape to being Emerson’s patient and gentle best friend and an incredibly loyal buddy who sees our house as her home. Alfie is another story, and I think a lot has to do with his age. He’s not in pain or have a specific health issue, he’s just getting weird and brittle with the years and we just give him space, and make sure he is cared for and comfortable.
This morning I woke at 4:45am to a horrible scream from downstairs – Alfie I guess tried to get up off the couch and collapsed and with his fall, his back legs slid under the couch. I raced downstairs, freed his legs but he still couldn’t get up. I tried to calm him and he finally was able to get up, though his bladder released from fear. He hobbled outside and was able to get down the deck stairs and go to the bathroom and seemed to get himself going again. I put a dog bed in the middle of the living room floor but he got himself back on the couch. It sucks that I must be at work for I’d like to take him to the vet with my husband. Karl doesn’t need to deal with more of this (Ruckus passed a few months ago and it is his dad’s dog), and I hate the idea of him having to take Emerson with him. He said he would watch Alfie, see how it goes and if it gets worse or continues he’ll take him this afternoon. If he improves like he usually does (we have had so many near-misses with this dog over the years – on death’s door and an hour later play-fighting with Cindy and jumping around like a puppy), we’ll go day by day.
Anyhoo, with such a start to the morning everything got off schedule. I was again happy to have a wardrobe of mix-and-match pieces that would have me pulled together with little time or thought.
One of you can win a Tolani scarf that has been seen on the likes of Jessica Alba (pictured), Sienna Miller, Vanessa Minnillo (pictured), Halle Berry and Mary-Kate Olsen.
The Tolani scarf is courtesy of chickdowntown.com, an awesome site that sells hip women’s designer clothing from the likes of Black Halo, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Fürstenberg and Vera Wang Lavender Label.
I am so excited, because you KNOW I love scarves, and these beauts from Tolani are fabulous!
How to enter:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “TOLANI” in the subject.
In the body of the email, please provide your name and mailing address (I promise these addresses will only go to me – except for the winner, and will be deleted once the contest is over). Winner will be chosen by random.
Contest ends Friday, March 20th, 2009 at midnight ET. Winner will be contacted by email. Scarf will be mailed out from chickdowntown.com. Sorry international readers, but the contest is only open to those in the United States.
Get to know chickdowntown.com:
Facebook (friend “shop chickdowntown” and/or become a fan of the chickdowntown page)
YouTube (chickdowntownTV.com or youtube.com/chickdowntowntv)
Scarf: Ann Taylor (similar)
Shoes: Halogen (similar)
Bracelets: c/o Kristin Biggs Stella and Dot, c/o Soft Surroundings, JewelMint, Lauren Ralph Lauren
Bag: Sabina (similar)
Lipstick: Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain in Crush Begun
Folks, it was downright chilly this morning. I almost wore a pair of boots with this ensemble but I just couldn’t do it yet. But fall is surely here, and this seems to be the Early Fall uniform for much of DC. While walking to the office, I passed over a dozen women in variations of my ensemble – a knit dress, flats, and a scarf looped around their throat while sipping coffee (and I bet a bunch of those Starbucks cups held Pumpkin Spice lattes).
And can we just talk about the awesomeness that is Emerson’s shoes? I am a cheap mom – I know her clothes will get beat up, stained, washed a kazillion times and not fit in six months because she grows so fast. Her wardrobe is mainly knit separates bought on clearance, collected from a community baby stuff swap or consignment (or her extremely generous relatives). Shoes usually come from eBay, but when I got a 30% coupon code for Gap I decided to splurge. I just knew she would love them and it’s true… she hardly wanted to take them off for bed last night! Hey there Gap, ever thought of making an adult-sized version? I know I’d buy them!
I love wrap dresses – easy to wear, flattering to the figure, chic and stylish. However, I don’t currently have one in my wardrobe. So when I saw this one on the Gwynnie Bee site I had to try it out. I know about IGIGI and owned some pieces of them when I was plus sized, but didn’t know they also carried pieces for us women who are on the cusp of plus size. This is a 12, and I know it’s a bit bigger than regular 12 since it’s 12 Woman, but as you see it fits nicely. Not only that it is MADE nicely. Fully lined so no see-through and it doesn’t cling, a well-constructed wrap that lays flat and cinches properly, enough fabric in the skirt (and nice weight) so it doesn’t fly open on a breeze. I did use a safety pin to hold the neckline closed, but if I were taller I don’t think that would be an issue. I love how the waist is a different complementary fabric – what a nice detail!
If you missed my last post, check it out. Gwynnie Bee is a pretty cool program where you can borrow clothing for a reasonable monthly fee. I will be featuring several pieces from Gwynnie Bee in the next couple of months!